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  • Franklin Press Tokens

    The Franklin Press Token of 1794: Introduction

    The origin of this token is unknown. The obverse of the coin shows a printing press with the legend "Sic oritur doctrina surgetque libertas" (In this manner learning springs forth and liberty rises up) with the date 1794. The reverse states: "Payable at the Franklin Press London." This is one of the many hundreds of merchant token produced in England at the time. It is thought the token was made for Watt's Printing Works in London where Benjamin Franklin worked in 1726. The firm's association with Franklin was commemorated by a plaque and was well known. Franklin even stopped by to revisit the press while traveling in London in 1768. The press is now in the Smithsonian. It is thought the token was made in Birmingham, probably from a single pair of dies, since most examples show a diebreak within the press and a small defect at the E and R in LIBERTAS. This is another of those token that has traditionally been associated with American colonial coins but does not appear to have circulated in America.

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    Section Contents Franklin Press Tokens

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